On Friday, May 21, thirteen participants from Anderson University biked to work during the National Bike to Work Day. AU participated in a local community challenge and had the most registered employees to win this year's traveling trophy.
Allan Henderson, AICP, Chief Planner for the Madison County Council of Governments believes this annual event held each May during National Bike Month is important for several reasons to the community. “This event shows the bicycle can be a practical form of transportation and that you do not always have to rely on your automobile, it puts more cyclists on the streets at the same time helping drivers become more aware about sharing the roadway and obeying traffic laws, and it promotes a healthy lifestyle.” [Photo to left: Henderson, Ward and Greg Graham, Chairman of the Board of Works, City of Anderson.]
To promote bicycle commuting as a viable mode of transportation, cities across Indiana have planned activities throughout May. From group rides to bike-to-work days, and from special events to employer promotions, communities, cycling groups and casual cyclists the events hope to feature the benefits of bicycling.
One biking enthusiast, AU staff member Julie Ward, participated in the event for her third Bike to Work Day. Ward started biking in 2005 during her first 200-mile “Break the Cycle” fundraiser for Dove Harbor, where she currently serves as a resident assistant.
“Bike to Work Day is a great opportunity for people to see what it might feel like to commute to work by bike. It’s not as difficult as you might think. You just have to plan ahead — sort of like packing your lunch instead of grabbing fast food at a drive-through. Healthier for you and for the environment. And it feels great,” said Ward.
Since 2007, the number of Hoosiers cycling to work has increased almost 40 percent. Overall in Madison County, participation was up fifty percent from 2009 with 76 participants registered for the event.
Bicycle Indiana, an advocacy group that works to create a bicycle-friendly state, encourages all bicyclists and those interested in biking opportunities in Indiana to visit their website at www.BicycleIndiana.org. [Photo on right: Traveling trophy Anderson University received. The trophy stays with AU until next year's event.]
Henderson says he hopes to grow the event in the future to more than a one day event for Madison County. This is the fourth time since 2006 the event has taken place.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.